|Re: Expressions of Anger-off topic||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Bitner/Stevenson (lilbertearthlink.net)|
|Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 22:36:16 -0600 (MDT)|
I'm pretty tired of this thread as well, but I've been really jazzed to see so many of my passing-for-middle-class sisters coming out of the closet! I don't quite fit into any mold, having come from a very "old" WASP family with a pedigree, but no money in my generation (downwardly mobile!). Perhaps we should stop making such assumptions about each other. Here's a little shameless self promotion- my letter to the editor of Utne Reader got published this month. In it, I talk about making assumptions about people, too. I'm on a roll, here, people. No prejudice is safe! -- Liz Stevenson Southside Park Cohousing Sacramento, California ---------- >From: "Sharon Villines" <sharonvillines [at] prodigy.net> >To: Multiple recipients of list <cohousing-l [at] freedom.mtn.org> >Subject: Re: Expressions of Anger >Date: Sat, Aug 28, 1999, 4:01 PM > >>From Sherri's post: > >> I think the diversity among people who might appear to be "middle class >> white North Americans and similar cultures" is significant, and rarely >> explored. Assuming that "99%" of cohousers come from a similar cultural >> background that shares behavioral norms--particularly around acceptable >> ways to express anger--seems pretty dicey to me. > > I come from what I call a sub-working class family. Working is tenuous and > Friday to Friday. You get paid or fired on Friday--sometimes both. If you > get fired, you also move because you can't pay the rent and still eat the > next week if you don't find a job on Monday. Bank accounts were completely > unnecessary--even rent was paid in cash. > > While everyone assumes I'm WASP New England money (or they did before I > gained weight--a definite down class activity), it is only because those > were my grandmother's values. She didn't get it from "New" England but from > several generations of parents who brought the same values from England to > the South. And all hell broke loose when we violated them. > > To maintain that value system without the proper cultural and financial > supports or the social respect, you learn to be very tough. Otherwise you > don't make it. > > You have to be tough within the family--that is where it is really > important--to keep all the kids from sliding into alcoholism, drugs, theft, > etc. In public you are nice and sweet because those are not the people you > care about, those are the people you have to please to survive. You care > about family and you fight for them and with them until everyone is safe. > > In cohousing you have a situation where it is part public and part family. > Many of the responses sent to the list are "public" solutions that feel not > only like pleasing, but like the worst ideas of safe sex. Emotional > sanitation. > > What cultural diversity really means in terms of accepting and > understanding behavior, personal history, and emotional reactions is little > understood because we haven't lived with it. What a desire for diversity too > often it means, like all the scholarship programs I was on for 8 years of > college and graduate school, "we will include you if you behave like us and > accept our values." And that meant a hierarchical class system. > > One of the most touching and informative moments in a program filmed years > ago on scholarship students at elite liberal arts colleges in New England > was a young Mexican American girl from Texas who couldn't eat the food in > Connecticut. At every meal, she was in agony. > > Her mother had to send her boxes of chilis and beans and tortillas--"bad > food" she kept hidden in her closet because no one then was eating anything > but rare meat and polite vegetables and instant oatmeal. > > To say "Chill" to someone who is expressing their own very deep feelings is > like saying "put it in the closet." > > Labeling the situation "public" in the context of people being > themselves--good or bad, means "not family." Hide it. Go home. > > For those of us who have hurdled the class barriers, several times, in many > directions, phrases like "it just isn't done" or "it doesn't work" or "it > isn't effective" are extremely relative. > > I'm really tired of this thread, and I'm sure I'll get flamed again for > responding truthfully again, but I hope it has been helpful to all the nice > people out there who never yell, never get angry, and certainly would never > raise their voices in public--or even in private, to understand that this is > not the only way that perfectly nice and caring people respond. > > The initial question was how to deal with two people who repeatedly argue in > front of others who are tired of hearing it and are afraid it is setting a > bad example for their children. My decidedly unique take on this was to say > look at it another way and you might find a new, workable, answer. > Obviously, none of the "normal" group process and people skills techniques > had worked. I'm sure the original question came from someone who was just > informed as the rest of us about what these are. > > Sharon. >
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